Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11

No political diatribe about 9-11 here -- its a clayday for me.  I spent a while trying to get an original name for my clayblog -- clayblog was taken -- so I came up with the original url of myclayjournal -- whoop tee doo!

I trimmed the second teabowl I made of Val Cushing's cone 6 porcelain that I mixed by hand -- here's the exact recipe.  It did not make a lot, but I'm just trying it out:

6. C/4.5.6 White China Translucent

E.P.K. kaolin


Grolleg china clay


Kentucky ball clay


Nepheline syenite


Gerstley borate




Oh -- and you put it in bentonite water -- which at 3 grams in a cup of water, is basically like snot.  I had to shove it through a teastrainer by hand to get it to quit lumping into loogie masses.  Pretty gross.

Here's my Googledocs documentation of the mixing of it

I strained 3 ounces of wet gooey bentonite by hand in a tea strainer for about 30 or 40 minutes to get it to not be snot like lumps in mucussy water. Gross!

I made it 8.24.2010. I need to make some more -- I only have about 13 ounces left. It's supposed to go translucent at cone 6, according to Val Cushing. I'll find out!

SInce I've about run out of it for now, I'm throwing bits of whatever I have around -- which is a considerable selection. I threw what I THINK is some Balcones White that was in my little "Wedged and Ready" tub that sits by my wheel so that I can throw something whenever I feel like it. I made a beautiful little bowl with vertical sides -- one of my favorite bowl shapes since I can actually successfully throw it and its not a boring bowl shape.

I made this blog because I don't want to use my MonsterMug blog for detailed stuff like this that will bore most people to tears. This is truly a clay journal, and I can digress and be as detailed as I want because its for me. I can chronicle all the things that I want to, and go back and review what I've done, and if I will just get responsible enough with photographic documentation, I can post pictures of the pieces as they are thrown, drying, glazed, then fired.

The cone 5 porcelain pieces I made met with some unfortunate ends. I threw a perfectly delicate, well thrown, well trimmed VERY light bowl that I was SO proud of -- and as I lay my hands on it to move it a bit in the car to take it over to the college to bisque, Hitomi called out and asked me a question, and I looked back toward her while still extending my hands and grabbing it and broke the damn thing. I was SO mad. And the second, less beautiful bowl I threw with the cone 5 porcelain broke as I pressed the clay to hold it in place for trimming............heavy siiiiiiiiiiiiigh of exasperation and anger.

Anyway, so now I have two vertical sided teabowls made with it that are NOT thin enough to show translucence in my estimation, but we shall see. And I'll make more and throw some very thin pieces to see how translucent it can get.

Today Lalo and his brother are laying the saltillo in our den. It looks gorgeous!

I'm going to take a break for a minute or so then get back out to the studio and probably throw some more stuff, even though what I NEED to do is throw Robert Speakes' face mug and jug, and finish painting the white freckles on Mari's blue monster, and start working on glazing some of the other face jugs and mugs that I've made -- liek Oil Spill Sally, who will be going to Mike Leone's daughter for Christmas. And I have to throw 8 noodle bowls, 8 tea bowls, 8 wasabi dishes and 8 chopstick holders for Lazlo Weress who is giving me a Wacom Intuos tablet for making them, and for his horrific Janus mug (see below). It's at the college and will be put in a bisque on Tuesday.

Laszlo called this a Janus mug -- he wanted me to make a vessel with a happy face on one side and a sad face on the other.  Here is what he had to say about it when I sent him the pictures recently:

Laszlo Weress' reaction to seeing his custom made mug 9.5.2010 email:
 The mug is beyond words. As I am looking at it, it almost feels like a new member of my household, with a character that demands attention. Attention in a sense, that it can't be just dismissed as an inanimate article, but a 'being' of some sort that you need to make room for, a place in your daily life. Very interesting emotions, I don't think I felt any of this sort toward anything before. to figure it out.


wow! that's a pretty good endorsement -- and its not even bisqued yet!

much love

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